Notes from the Manager
The movie they're watching is, of course, (500) Days of Summer (as noted in #378). It's a really fun film — perhaps just shy of being a great film — but I enjoyed it more… on almost an intellectual level than an emotional level.
I feel like it's being sold as a romantic comedy (despite a narrator saying "This is not a love story" in both the trailer and the film), and I don't know how accurate that is. Summer is Joseph Gordon-Levitt's film, without a doubt. While I am utterly in love with Zooey Deschanel (as I've mentioned several times in the past, I'm sure), Summer Finn is more of an idea of a perfect girl than a well-rounded character. This is not, at least in my opinion, a flaw with the film; it's sort of the central conceit: that the "perfect girl" doesn't exist. I love this movie for that — but it does make it something other than a romantic comedy, I think.
In the film, JGL's character Tom is a failed architect of sorts. He takes Summer on sort of a walking tour of downtown LA early in their relationship, but rather than point out modern buildings (booooring) he pointed out some of the older, ornate skyscrapers that often get forgotten about when people think of Los Angeles. (You can see a few photos of the gorgeous Fine Arts Building mentioned in panel 2 at Public Art in LA.com.)
Summer doesn't dwell on the architecture stuff too terribly long or anything, but rather than just mentioning that Tom wants to be an architect and casually tossing off the most famous architects' names the screenwriter could think of ("Oh yeah, I used to want to be an architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, blah blah"), they actually talk about the buildings a little bit. Shocking.
I might be talking up this aspect of the film more than I ought to, because it's really not a huge part of the movie, but I adore (500) Days of Summer for that little touch— and not just because it played so beautifully into the storyline I'd already started.
Here's the film's trailer (from which the movie still was taken):
The website Devi mentions — Cinema Treasures — is one of my favorite websites on the internet. The database lets me easily track down and read about every single movie theater that has ever existed, and its wonderfully passionate users often link to photos they've taken or found of the buildings. (They also have an absolutely gorgeous coffee table book.) You can read a little about the Million Dollar Theater mentioned in this strip and glimpsed briefly in (500) Days of Summer at Cinema Treasures or check out some photos of it via Google Images.
UPDATE: Oh, and I almost forgot. There are two new, long overdue reader cameos. One is hempy (a.k.a. Paul Hempseed, who has the coolest name ever) with the red hair towards the back in panel 2, and the other is... umm… I forget at the moment. The Asian guy next to Paul.
I'll edit this bit later. Psyrick! That's who!
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Saturday, May 21, 2016
So I finished my Master of Fine Arts degree—technically as of March 31, although I’m still working on a couple of assistantships. But I got my diploma in the mail today.
This is one of the weirder things I did in grad school. It was a project I did for a Graphic Design Studio class, and the only stipulation was that you had to make a collection of… something. I chose to do a “collection” of twelve books that shaped who I am as a person. Not necessarily books that I still hold dear, but that really connected with me when I read them.
So, I call it an autobiography, although obviously it’s not. I decided to make a story scroll using clippings from these books, cut and pasted to build a NEW story (a creation story). I made scroll handles for it from wooden dowels (painted bronze) and bronze drawer handles on all four ends.
It was roughly 6¾ feet long if you completely unrolled the scroll, so I’ll only show the first bit here. You can click through to the Patreon page I posted it on a couple of years ago if you want to read the whole thing. I made it public so anyone can see it.
The books are (in no particular order): The Book of Job, translated by Stephen Mitchell; The Illustrated Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking; Cages by Dave McKean; Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood; Epileptic by David B; Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; Hamlet’s Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechen; Justice League: A New Beginning by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire; Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson; The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts; and The Complete Winnie-the-Pooh & The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne. (The Pooh books are technically two separate volumes, so it’s really thirteen, but I now own a single-volume collection of them. I also read Justice League in the issues first, not TPB, so whatever.)
Enjoy! Or just kind of squint your eyes and wonder why this is something that graduate students spend their time doing. But hopefully you’ll enjoy it.
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